May 29, 2020
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Where and when to expect heavy traffic in Maine this holiday weekend

TIM BOYD | AP
TIM BOYD | AP
A lobster mascot takes a sip of her drink through the costume near the tollbooth in York in this AP file photo.

If you hit the road this weekend, you’ll have plenty of company. The Maine Turnpike is expecting an increase of 1.5 percent in Memorial Day weekend travel over last year’s Memorial Day weekend.

Turnpike Authority spokesperson Erin Courtney said some things won’t change, like the busiest times on the toll road.

“We definitely see the most traffic at the York toll plaza. Typically on Friday coming in; the hours of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. there’s typically heavy traffic there, and then again on Monday.”

Road construction will be suspended for the weekend. But Courtney says there are places, like near Exit 44 southbound, where drivers will be traveling through construction sites.

“There is some lane shift,” Courtney said. “There’s still three lanes of traffic, but the speed limit is reduced, because there is work going on behind concrete barriers, so people will want to slow down in that area. Same thing…we have a toll plaza project going on where you’re getting onto 295; people should use caution driving through that.”

Courtney said the busiest travel times northbound will be Friday afternoon. The heaviest southbound traffic will be Monday afternoon, unless weather causes visitors to want to leave early.

AAA of Northern New England spokesperson Pat Moody says overall driving may be up as much as 5 percent this weekend. That will be despite the highest Memorial Day gas prices in four years.

“It’s going to be the highest gas prices since 2014 and we’re gonna be payin’ somewhere between 40 and 50 cents more this Memorial Day weekend than last.”

The latest gasbuddy.com state average is $2.94 per gallon. Despite that, Moody says Triple-A is forecasting a 5 percent increase in traffic nationally, both on the roads, and at airports.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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